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San Jose Ballpark Land Deal With A's Scrutinized By State Controller

SAN JOSE (KCBS) - California's state controller is reviewing whether a deal allowing the Oakland A's to purchase land owned by San Jose's dissolved redevelopment agency for a new ballpark flouts a new state law.

The review comes after Controller John Chiang determined redevelopment agencies in Milpitas and Morgan Hill improperly transferred millions of dollars worth of assets before their dissolutions.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law dissolving the state's redevelopment agencies in order to collect their tax revenue for schools and local governments.

After the law was signed, many cities established separate city-run entities to manage and protect the assets such as real estate and invested funds, even as the state Department of Finance warned against such moves.

The law requires Chiang to review all 400 redevelopment agencies to see whether their assets were properly transferred to third parties or whether the assets must be returned to the successor entities overseeing the dissolved redevelopment agencies.

KCBS' Mike Colgan Reports:

San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle said he is confident the transfer of properties near Diridon Station with the Oakland A's was done lawfully.

"We did the transfers well before the law was passed and the transfer then was made to the Oakland A's which is sort of an innocent third party in this whole deal," he said.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed echoed Doyle's outlook. "We always have to be concerned when the state of California is trying to take money for local governments which they do from time to time but the transaction that our (San Jose Diridon Development) Authority has with the A's management is one that was done a long time ago,"he said.

San Jose transferred the Diridon properties into a newly created Diridon authority in March 2011, before the June 28, 2011 deadline given by the state.

Santa Clara also moved assets to escaped the state's tax revenue seizure. Both San Jose and Santa Clara are among the first 14 city agencies Chiang's office has undertaken for review.

Doyle said that he expects a decision from the controller by mid-September


(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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